Gluten-Free: A Medically Necessary Diet for People with Celiac Disease
Who Needs a Gluten-Free Diet? | Is There a Demand for Gluten-Free Options? |
Why is There a Need for GREAT Kitchens training?
There are many reasons why restaurant patrons look for gluten-free products. Two key health-related reasons are celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Both of these conditions require a diet completely free of gluten, even in trace amounts.
If safe storage, preparation and serving practices are not followed, gluten-containing foods can cause cross-contact with otherwise gluten-free foods, making them unsafe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Food safety is a primary concern for these individuals because of the potentially serious consequences that can occur if even the smallest amount of gluten is ingested. Because of this, food safety is often the deciding factor when this population chooses a restaurant or other foodservice facility for themselves and the others with whom they will be dining.
The availability of gluten-free products is spilling into foodservice. Accessibility of gluten-free offerings in foodservice is a very important factor that contributes to an improved quality of life for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, but training and education are essential ingredients to any gluten-free menu.
Yes! An estimated 30 percent of Americans are eliminating or decreasing the amount of gluten in their diets.
Foodservice providers need to become prepared and educated about how to provide safe gluten-free food for customers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
A little bit of gluten can make someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity very sick. Just a crumb-sized amount of gluten is enough to launch the body’s violent immune response, which leads to the damage of the intestines seen in celiac disease. Something as seemingly minor as removing gluten-containing croutons from the top of a salad and serving it to a person with celiac disease is enough to cause this intestinal damage and produce a variety of symptoms that can last from days to weeks. Such incidents are unfortunately all too common, but they can be avoided with proper training.